Samsung took the wraps off its hot new foldable phone innovations in New York city at its UnPacked 2022 event. This marks the first major ‘in person’ launch for the South Korean electronics giant since the pandemic, and a fitting showcase for its eagerly awaited Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4 smartphones. While more of an incremental update, both products come with key improvements to form factor, battery life, camera quality and usability.
Galaxy Z Flip4
The Galaxy Z Flip4, which has a traditional clamshell design, is aimed at content creators and those looking to express their unique style. The new Flip has gained a slightly wider screen thanks to thinner bezels and is 1.2mm thinner thanks to a compact hinge mechanism.
It’s had a style makeover too, with a glossy metal frame, contrasting hazed black glass and four new colour choices including Samsung’s signature Bora Purple, Pink Gold, Graphite and Blue. And for those who want to express their own style, Samsung’s Bespoke Edition opens up 75 colour combinations. This is also the first time that pre-ordered Bespoke Edition models will be ready at the same time the Flip4 goes on sale.
For capturing hands-free selfies and full group shots at various angles, the Flip4’s cover can be partially opened (between 75 and 115 degrees), sort of like a tripod, using its FlexCam mode. Thanks to a partnership with Meta, FlexCam can be enabled from within Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook. The updated QuickShot feature now lets you to take high-quality selfies using the main camera while the cover is closed. You can also start recording a video in QuickShot mode with the cover closed and then open the cover without stopping the capture.
In terms of camera quality, the Flip4 has seen a 65% improvement in light sensitivity, meaning you can now enjoy Samsung’s “Nightography”, or low light shooting, including night portrait selfies. Image stabilisation is also better for both images and video. This is thanks to an improved camera sensor, and image post-processing from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile chip.
The new Galaxy Z Series range is the generation of foldables that will see the category become mainstream.
Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Experience Division, Samsung Electronics Australia
The Fold4’s cover screen gains new wallpapers, and Galaxy Themes can be applied to both the main and cover screen. You can also record and play videos up to 15 seconds on the cover screen too, along with new shortcuts. This opens up the ability to view the weather, update your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, direct-dial contacts, tap-and-pay via the Samsung Pay wallet and even control your smart home devices without opening the front cover.
One area needing improvement with the Fold3 was battery life. As a result, the Flip4 gets a 12% larger battery, along with a quick charge capability that tops up levels to 50% in 30 minutes. You will need a 25 Watt charger for fast charging, and the battery can store 3700mAh, versus the Flip3’s 3300mAh.
The Flip4 will debut in Australia priced from $1,499 with 128GB of memory, or $1,649 with 256GB.
Galaxy Z Fold4
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold4 is aimed at power users who want high-end productivity and multitasking capabilities. The Fold4 is the most powerful version ever, with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile chip, including 5G network connectivity. The Fold4 has also upped the ante for photos and gains the same camera mechanism as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22. This includes a 50 megapixel wide camera, 12 megapixel ultra-wide and 3x zoom telephoto, with 30x Space Zoom. The sensor’s pixels are larger than the Fold3, meaning a bump in sensitivity by 23 percent for brighter and clearer low-light photos and videos.
There are also some camera app tweaks to make better use of the Fold4’s 7.6inch display, including a larger zoom map in Capture View mode, Dual Preview, and Rear Cam Selfie.
The Fold4’s main screen is also improved with higher brightness and an ultra-smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. This changes depending on the apps used and can range between 120 and 1 refresh per second (Hz). The main screen’s under-display camera is now harder to see thanks to a new scatter type sub-pixel arrangement.
Also improved, and very important in a foldable phone, is durability. The Fold4 now sports an Armor Aluminium frame and hinge cover, a more shock resistant layer structure, as well as Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus+ on cover and rear glass. This new hardened glass is also featured on the Flip4 and both models share IPX8 water resistance.
The Fold4 has optimisations to make better use of its large, bending display and is the first device to use Android 12L, which is optimised for larger screens. Facebook and other social media apps now use more of the screen, and streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus can operate in Flex Mode. There’s also a new Flex Mode Touchpad, where the lower half of the screen acts like a laptop touchpad to control the upper half.
For launching and switching between apps, there’s a new taskbar, which is similar to the riband of apps found at the bottom of PC desktops. Google apps, such as Chrome and Gmail now support drag-and-drop, and Microsoft’s full Office Suite takes advantage of the foldable display, with more content shown on screen.
The Fold comes in three colours including Greygreen, Beige and Phantom Black. There’s also a new 1 Terabyte option, which comes in Burgundy, available exclusively from Samsung.com’s online store.
Prices for the Galaxy Z Fold4 start at $2,499 for 256GB of memory, $2,699 for 512GB and $2,999 for 1TB.
Both the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4 begin pre-orders on August 11 and go on sale in Australia September 2.